Should You Pay to Join A Modeling Agency?

Should you pay to join a modeling agency?

Lemme get straight to the point….NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The End

via GIPHY

But seriously…No, You do not have to pay an agency to represent you.

When it comes to getting representation by an agency, you will have a percentage deducted from your check that will pay the agency for representing you. it can be anywhere from 15% – 25% depending on the agency and your contract. When it comes to spending money in regards to working with an agency, they may ask you to get your pictures done to their standards or to take acting classes. They may have a list of recommended photographers or acting coaches that would be able to help you but you don’t have to use them its completely up to you. They give you these reccomendations because your model tools may not be the right tools for them to use to market you properly.

For example, you may have a ton of photos in your portfolio in the style of an editorial or high fashion model. The agency that is interested in working with you feels that you would make the most success as a commercial model, so they suggest you get a few shots done that represent your commercial look. If you get them done, great, you should start having work in no time. If not, expect that it will be hard for the agency to “sell” you to clients.

If an “agency” asks you to pay money to have access to various jobs that are available, it’s not an agency, its a job listing service and if they are portraying themselves as an agency and not a listing service, don’t bother spending money with them. That just screams SCAM to me.

As a model, or with any profession, you don’t need to pay to get work. With the internet and social media, you can find information on various bookings and agents that can help you along in your journey, you just have to do your work and build your network to help you grow.

Read my post on how I got started in my modeling career!

Alean Elston, Pay to join a modeling agency

How I got started as a model…

The header pic, is a pic from about 10 years ago, maybe more an 10 years, of my first swimsuit shoot in Atlantic City. I thought I was DOOOOOOING IT! lol Thank goodness that was the beginning and there was a lot of improvement to be had!

 

Day 2 of the 7 day blogging challenge by Alex Beadon, and the challenge is to write about how you got your start as an entrepreneur. Since my modeling is how I got my start as an entrepreneur, I decided to detail that. If you want to know how it got me to start my business, I’ll be detailing that in the future on my company’s blog, “The Pour”

 

Here Goes!

 

What initially drew you in to become a model?

 

I have a cousin that was a model when I was a kid. I remember looking at her pictures in her portfolio and some of her tear sheets from the ads and print work that she had done and thought to myself, I want to do that. The pretty, perfect, and polished look that she portrayed was what initially sparked my interest in modeling. I think I was around 9 years old when I realized a model is what I wanted to be.

 

What challenges did you face?

 

Well, the number one challenge that I faced was getting started. I didn’t know how or where to start, who could point me in the right direction, how to get work, what did I need to be a model, what was a scam and what was worth pursuing? And so forth.

My first comp card. Thank the Lord for growth lol (that email address, I no longer use by the way)
My first comp card. Thank the Lord for growth lol
(that email address, I no longer use by the way)

How did you overcome them?

 

I did a lot of researching, back when I was starting there were a few ‘urban’ models who had websites that displayed their portfolios and resumes and also gave a lot of tips on how they got started (before blogging was popular) so I took some of their advice from their sites as well as other modeling advice sites and started out on pursing my career. A lot of what I have come to learn has been from trial and error and research to figure out what path would be the best path for me to try. Through my research, I learned that pictures are the main thing that will get you booked and without them you won’t be taken seriously as a model. SO I set out to do a photo shoot. I found a few social networking sites dedicated to models and photographers and I put a few pictures of myself on there that opened myself as looking to shoot in order to build my portfolio and I had a number of photographers respond willing to shoot me and a few even for free! I decided to shoot with one photographer (I paid him) and ended up learning a TON from my initial shoot and used those pictures to book more shoots in order to perfect my posing and my port, and thus I began to seek out work and the bookings started to come.

 

How did you get your first booking?

 

My first booking was fashion show that I was referred to do by the same photographer that I did my very first shoot with. It was for a local designer, I can’t remember her name, but I was booked for that show based on the pictures he showed her that he shot of me. I didn’t even know how to walk the runway I was a PURE newbie, Lol But I booked it!

 

What has been your biggest lesson as a model?

 

The biggest lesson I have learned as a model is the vital fact that pictures and your network can and will take you places. Without the pictures and without knowing people you won’t get far. It’s like the saying goes, “Its not always what you know, its who you know and who knows you.”